Beyond Correlational Analysis of the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS): A Classification Validity Study

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Abstract

This study investigated the classification validity of the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) using a sample of kindergarteners (N = 177). Results indicated the cutoff scores for determining at-risk status on the DIBELS produced substantial false negative rates. Cutoff scores identifying students as at some risk produced substantial false positive rates. At both levels of risk status, the DIBELS showed low positive predictive power, but high negative predictive power, indicating it was far better at identifying students with adequate reading skills than those with inadequate reading skills. Recommendations for appropriate use of the DIBELS for reading screening and suggestions for future research are provided.

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